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In Stores Now: Lowe’s Googles it

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Iris Smart Hub continues to be the heart of Lowe’s Iris network. And the Iris network has for years been the heart of Lowe’s smart home offering. But the Mooresville, N.C.-based home improvement giant has made room for more options in the connected-home space.

At an Idaho store this summer, three highly visible endcaps stood three in a row in the front of the store. The endcaps told three different smart-home stories with three different brands – Iris (of course), Nest, and Google.

The Iris endcap explains the value of Wireless DIY security. Nest highlighted its new Nest Cam Outdoor with the phrase: “Security has never looked so good.”

The most focused of the three endcaps belonged to Google’s Google Home Voice-activated speaker. Reminiscent of the white-space-rich Google home page, the endcap was as close to clutter-free as can be found in a retail environment. One speaker – and only one speaker – sat in the middle of the display, surrounded by simple messages and a lot of white space.  

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Armstrong Flooring completes an acquisition

BY HBSDealer Staff

Armstrong Flooring, Inc. has closed on the previously announced definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire the Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) business of flooring company Mannington Mills.

“We are pleased to close on this strategic acquisition and strengthen our footprint in the well-structured VCT category,” said Don Maier, Chief Executive Officer. “This acquisition remains on track to drive accretive benefits to earnings in 2018 and marks an exciting step in our multi-pronged approach to achieve our medium-term goals. We look forward to providing customers with an expanded inventory selection backed by our expertise in VCT, as well as exceptional service from our strong distribution network.”

Armstrong Flooring will use its existing plant and distribution networks to take on the additional VCT volume.

The company currently operates 17 manufacturing facilities in three countries and employs approximately 3,900 individuals.

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Product Central: Hardcore Hammers Original Hammer

BY Steph Koyfman

Here at HBSDealer, it’s more or less an annual tradition to check in with the status of the Made in USA movement — and spotlight some products that are promoting domestic manufacturing.

The momentum is there, even if the majority of retailers don’t believe it’s a total cash cow yet. (In 2014, 65% of our readers said Made in USA had a “moderate impact” on sales — if the price is close.) We’ve been asking the same question around this time every year. And in 2015, the results were much more dispersed: 38% said it had a “big” impact, 35% voted “moderate,” and 27% said “small.” Last year, in 2016, 43% said “medium,” and 42% said “mild,” with only 15% voting for “turbo-charged” — even as domestic manufacturing became a rallying cry in the presidential election.

Still, suppliers seem to be heading further in the direction of American-made products.

According to Nu-Wood, American manufacturing isn’t just sought-after because of the quality and patriotic value, but also because of the delivery timeframes. When companies don’t ship overseas, pricing and response time benefit.

Huttig also recently announced an agreement with American Fasteners Co. to produce collated fasteners here in the Southwest United States under the Huttig-Grip brand, a response to demand from its customer network.

Their offerings, among several others, are represented below in our annual roundup of Made in the USA products.

Here is a product featured in a recent issue of HBSDealer:

 

Hardcore Hammers Original Hammer

The founder of Hardcore Hammers has an origin story borne out of frustration. The original hammer says it best with a combined finish and framing hammer in one, plus a recessed milled insert (which is protected from striking anything but the nail, thanks to the smooth outer rim). (hardcorehammers.com)

 

Check out other products featured in the March 2017 issue of HBSDealer.

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